Book Review: Chicken Cheeks

Chicken CheeksChicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Seriously. this is what couts as great children's literature nowadays?! What happened to authors like Audrey Woods? Those were books worth reading. This book is up for a Beehive Nomination... really? This whole book is just a bunch of illustrations of the rear ends of animals and 'cute' little rhyming or alliteration with animal names. This is the kind of 'literature' we want shaping our children's minds? bah. Lame and ridiculous. Since when do we have to buy into the message that our children will only be entertained by crude humor? Not a book I would own and not a book I care to have my kids to read.

Waste of time - waste of money.

View all my reviews


Book Review: Impossible

ImpossibleImpossible by Nancy Werlin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fairly quick read, though I read fairly quickly.

For those interested: AH! One of the first YA fiction fantasy books I have read that doesn't make teen sex expected. Main male interest - virgin. and he's 20. I love it! I think that yes, there's the reality, but it's also important to let kids know that there are people out there who wait. It isn't a HAVE to. Didn't notice any language either, which is cool. I appreciate those types of things, so there it is.

As for the writing and the characters and plot development.... this was a neat book. It was an interesting concept (going off the idea that the song 'Scarborough Fair' is actually a legend) that took fantasy in a new way and brought it into the 21st century. I enjoyed the book the whole way through and there were several times where the author did just a terriffic job of really making you feel what the characters would feel -- really, really.

I kind of came away... hm... not in LOVE with the book and not really thrilled and yet, at the same time I was. Really divided on that.

Good characters that you can like (or hate depending on their role) and it dealt with some heavy issues, though not as much as I think might have been realistic (rape, teen pregnancy, abortion, mental illness, etc.). I just think there sn't enough time devoted to them, but if there had been it might have been too much... like the book would have become more than a fun fantasy... I don't know.

Let me know what you think.

Anyway. Not a waste of time. Fun, quick read.

View all my reviews


Book Review: Story of a Girl

Story of a GirlStory of a Girl by Sara Zarr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some language, for anyone who would like to know. 'F' word multiple times and other language.

I don't know. It was a well written book. You really felt for Deanna and felt what Deanna was feeling. In the end nothing major changes, and that's what I was looking for, but I guess that's why it's realistic fiction -- nothing big typically changes, just little stuff that can impact your life in a big or small way depending on what you and others around you choose. I like a more fairy-tale world when I read, usually. I like things to work out, not conveniently, but still perfectly. So this wasn't my type of novel, but it was well written, it was real, it makes you feel. At the end of the day, if a book can make you feel something... well, that's pretty cool.

Not a waste of time. As far as realistic fiction goes it's not too bad.

View all my reviews


Book Review: Mr. Chartwell

Mr. ChartwellMr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hm. Well. This book was an interesting take on depression. Rebecca Hunt uses the figure of a large, black, beastly dog over turning and overtaking people's lives to attempt to illustrate the despair and life-owning horror that is depression. I really thought the imagery et. al was interesting and fresh. I like the language of her writing, but was often bored and slogging through. I was determined to finish reading and I did, but it was difficult.
I find, by searching google, that Churchill referred to his depression as 'the black dog' and so it is not as creative as I imagined; however, she makes it literal and yet imagined and therefore brings his 'black dog' to life.
I don't know. I  mean, it was interesting, and the relationship between the characters and depression was interesting.... I suppose you could really, really discuss it at length and talk about how perhaps people with depression hate it and yet are comfortable with those feelings -- they are resigned to it. And there's the refusal to talk about it and acknowledge the proverbial 'elephant (in this case a big, black dog) in the room which goes along with the stigma in society of it being a weakness and not to be discussed...
Overall, I found this book to be good at showing us perhaps what people who suffer with depression are dealing with, but also slightly boring and difficult to slog through. I think it wasn't a waste of time, and it really  made me think, but it was also just... boring. If it sounds interesting to you, you may want to give it a chance, but if not I don't know that you're missing anything.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic DetourAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For those who care: A few 'F' words (3 or 4 times, maybe), not much other swearing. Some eluding to naughtiness. Other than that I would say it's clean.

As far as story, characters, etc. This book seemed very well researched. Like, she probably took this road trip to write the book. It made me want to hop in the car and drive across country, which is, you know, good that she wrote well enough to do that. The characters are likeable -- flawed just enough to be 'real'. You identify with them, you feel for them... good characterization, I think. The story was nice. Not much actually happening except emotionally and in the relationship department. So if you're expecting a gripping plot, this book probably isn't for you.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, a good love story, dealt with some deep emotional thingsz (death, drug addiction in the family, and a break up or two).

View all my reviews